Vintage chic: Adapt your vintage closet to the 21st century

MERVE BARAN @mervebaran
Published 14.04.2017 23:49
Updated 15.04.2017 03:12
Daily Sabah's Merve Baran (R) interviewed Nillush Village's Nilüfer Tercanlı (Photos by Metin Arabacı)
Daily Sabah's Merve Baran (R) interviewed Nillush Village's Nilüfer Tercanlı (Photos by Metin Arabacı)

The trend of vintage is often wrongly interpreted as wearing outdated clothes; however, as an Istanbul-based vintage guru says, vintage styling is more about adapting the fashion sense of your mothers and grandmothers to the present day

Every girl's first role model is her mother and girls usually dream of growing up to become like their mothers one day. Daughters look up to their mothers and imitate them, not only in the way that they speak and behave but also with their sense of fashion. We have all seen images depicting little girls wearing their mother's high-heeled shoes around the house, putting on her lipstick or wearing her makeup, jewelry and clothing in an all too familiar scene.

For the last few years, the world of fashion and design has returned to old trends. Rather than coming up with futuristic designs and styles like those of the 1980s and the 1990s, modern fashion designers are getting their inspiration directly from the street fashion of the past and the vintage clothing worn by their mothers and grandmothers. The rising trend of vintage and retro is reflected on the fashion runway as well as on the streets, in fashion capitals across the globe. Moreover, with movements such as eco-sustainability and the staunch reaction of designers to mass-production and fast fashion, customers are increasingly looking for garments that reflect their individuality, preferring to recycle the clothing of their mothers and reinvent the vintage looks of the past, just like they dreamed of doing when they were small.

Nilüfer Tercanlı is one of those little girls who grew up admiring her mother and grandmother for their fashionable styles. Describing her grandmother as the best dressed woman in the family, Tercanlı realized while growing up that the clothes she admired on her relatives were now becoming out of date and losing their popularity. With the rise of the vintage trend, she decided to open up a boutique where she could revive the trends of the old days. The boutique, Nillush Vintage in Teşvikiye, became one of the inseparable parts of Istanbul's fashion scene. What makes Nillush Vintage different from the others is Tercanlı's approach to vintage fashion. Tercanlı makes exclusive vintage styling for her customers in the boutique and also shares her fashion sense on Instagram with her followers.

She strongly opposes the idea that certain vintage clothes cannot be worn in the 21st century. Tercanlı said the female body is the ultimate form of beauty and believes that we should reveal this beauty through the clothes we are wearing. For her, the most important thing to do is to bring out the hourglass shape of the body. She swears by belts worn over the clothes around the waist to bring out the most desirable shape. There is no denying that it is hard to match vintage clothes with the stereotypical, skinny body shape of the present. However, with the exception of jackets, trench coats and casual coats, most clothing can be adjusted to suit any customer's size. The aim of vintage style is to bring out the strong feminine spirit that is within every woman. Vintage style creates strong and confident women at the same time. On the other hand, Tercanlı suggests that the most indispensable accessories of vintage style are belts, fine gold watches and Stetsons. She does not recommend vintage styles for women over 50 years of age.

According to Tercanlı, the biggest mistake that one can make in terms of fashion is dressing up with entirely vintage pieces. Meaning: Do not overdo it, ladies. There is a simple question to be answered here: How do we adapt vintage pieces to the modern trends in fashion culture?

If you are a petite woman and want to wear a long dress, high-heeled shoes can help add length to your frame and a belt at the waist is also attractive. In this way, you can create an illusion of a longer silhouette and carry longer dresses on your petite frame more effectively. This concept also applies to oversize shirts or blouses combined with the Spanish trouser; with the help of a belt over your waist, you can make your legs look a bit longer.

If you have low shoulders, do not hesitate to use padding on the shoulders of your dress. Moreover, forget about stereotypes; the bomber jackets can be used with the mom Jeans. However the length of your jeans should be shorter than they usually are if you want to combine different patterns. However, you should be careful that the patterns you incorporate into your look are coordinated in terms of color and pattern (no mixing-and-matching polka dots with stripes, ladies).

Do not forget that each dress can also function as a skirt. If you want to use a power-look, you can transform your tight or mini dresses into a more sporty and casual look with comfortable oversized jackets. Also, using vintage shoes with pants creates a more modern combination while vintage footwear worn with skirts creates an image that is far from the present.

When it comes to properly identifying what is vintage and what isn't, it is helpful to remember that "all that glitters is not gold." Just because something is old doesn't mean that it can function as a vintage piece, as a proper vintage outfit should be made from high-quality materials in order to be used in the present without being damaged. In addition to this, vintage pieces should reflect the spirit of the fashion era they represent or be created by a famous designer from a specific fashion period. In short, "second hand" it's not vintage; clothes that mirror and define the fashion sense of the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s are referred to as being vintage. The polka-dot dress and blouses of the 1960s, Spanish trousers of the 1970s and the shoulder padding and sequins of the 1980's reflect the era as well as what vintage fashion stands for. Vintage fashion is a different style choice which has not and will not lose its popularity for years to come. In brief, it is a preference to want to carry the aspirations, excitement and differences that belong to the past.

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